Each month, Dinosaur Ridge recognizes our wonderful volunteers by showcasing the contributions of one volunteer. Thank you to each of you for your outstanding commitment to the mission of Dinosaur Ridge!
January 2020 – Bill Savage
Bill has been volunteering with Dinosaur Ridge since August of 2019, but in that short time has established himself as an insightful and highly engaged volunteer. Bill has an eye on the big picture, wanting to help Dinosaur Ridge achieve large goals through a long-term vision and plan of action. To that end, he is very involved in the Development Committee and will be joining the Board of Directors in March of this year. But Bill is also hands-on, helping with such activities as fall cleanup day and sluice bag assembly and providing service as a docent in the exhibit hall, as well as volunteering at both DDD events.
Bill comes to Dinosaur Ridge with the experience of a petroleum engineer. Now retired, his career included significant travel throughout the oil-bearing countries of the world including residence in London for a few years. After graduating with a BS in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Tulsa, he started his professional career in Denver. While moving and living across the US, he always seemed to return to Denver. Bill and his wife Debbie are proud parents to two sons, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. As RVing and boating passions are no longer on his agenda, he spends leisure time in his new workshop making, breaking, fixing, and inventing whatever is needed or not.
February 2020 – Laurie Gould
Laurie has been volunteering with Dinosaur Ridge since 2018. After moving to the area and visiting the Ridge, she was, “amazed by the fossils and geologic features so easily accessible. I decided I wanted to be a part of the friendly, knowledgeable staff/volunteers that I encountered on that visit.” Volunteering at the Ridge combines two of Laurie’s passions: geological science and teaching. Volunteering in Trek Through Time and leading tours allows her to focus on the best part of teaching: sharing her interest in dinosaurs, rocks, and geology. She said, “I really enjoy talking with people from all over the world and engaging young children in the excitement of dinosaurs.”
Laurie taught high school Earth Science and GIS (geographic information systems) for 28 years in Loudoun County, VA. She was chair of the science department and earned National Board Certification. She has two grown children in the area and two beautiful grand-daughters and spends quite a bit of time with them. Laurie enjoys spending free time outdoors – running, hiking, skiing – and traveling. She has plans to visit other geologic sites in Colorado.
March 2020 – Bill Stone
Bill started volunteering with Dinosaur Ridge in August of 2018 after a 36-year career of working as a professional geologist in the petroleum industry. The thing that always “grabbed him” about geology was the fossils. Bill wanted to put his geological knowledge and love of teaching to good use in his retirement. Bill’s friendly, interpersonal style and his exuberance for the subject makes him an excellent interpretive guide at Dinosaur Ridge, where he leads school programs and Walk with a Geologist tours. Bill enjoys inspiring people by exposing them to the wonders of our earth history, such as the depth of geologic time, the transient nature of environments and life forms, and our place in this grand story – including our ability to interrogate nature for its secrets. He enjoys helping people see that we benefit from scientific investigation.
Bill grew up in Tulsa and made his first visit to Colorado at age ten, visiting Rocky Mountain National Park, where Old Fall River Road awed and inspired him with its near vertical landscape, in stark contrast to the flatlands of home. He earned Geology degrees from Oklahoma State University and the University of Tulsa, during which time he fell more in love with Colorado’s mountains. During a six-week field camp outside Canon City and across the state, he mapped local geology in numerous spots. He spent his career in even flatter New Orleans and Houston but bee-lined to live in Denver at the first opportunity six years ago. Bill is delighted and thankful to have the opportunity to lead tours at Dinosaur Ridge and says, “It’s about my favorite thing to do nowadays!” Join Bill on the trail at Dinosaur Ridge or nearby Red Rocks if you’d like to see him in action!
April 2020 – Sue Jenne
Sue was introduced to Dinosaur Ridge by a family friend and Dinosaur Ridge founder in 2006. Sue’s first assignment was greeting visitors at Dinosaur Discovery Days. When the Trek Through Time exhibit opened, she became one of the “Pioneer Docents.” Her time with the Girl Scouts lent her casting skills, which was helpful when she discovered there was a need for fossil casters. Her college background and work with the Education Department at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia also aided her volunteerism at the Ridge. Sue says, “fossil replica casting is a lot like baking, with a little art and construction thrown in! The best part of casting is watching something grow from an idea to the finished product, and finally getting to see how what you have done can be shared with others. Of course the kids think that the ‘coolest’ things we make are the T Rex teeth (and we make a lot of them), but it is all fun.”
Sue helps out several days a week in the casting room and mentors new casting volunteers. For several years in a row, she has logged the highest number of volunteer hours at Dinosaur Ridge; in 2019, she gave 531 hours of her time to the organization. Thank you Sue!
When asked what she enjoys most about volunteering she said, “I know that I am contributing to something worthwhile. My volunteer activities help Dinosaur Ridge pursue its education, scientific, and preservation goals. I get to interact with people from all over who may have different or similar backgrounds, experiences or views. You never know when you will get to learn something new or pick up a different perspective on something old. Seeing how excited the kids can be or the look on someone’s face when that ‘aha moment’ hits is great! “
May 2020 – Pete Martin
Pete has been involved with Dinosaur Ridge from the start! In 1989, he led tours of the Ridge for the Denver Museum, and then continued volunteering for the newly formed Friends of Dinosaur Ridge. He led school tours and also manned stations for FODR’s “Open Ridge Days” (now called Dinosaur Discovery Days). In 1993, Pete was invited to join the Board of Directors, where he served for 27 years (the longest continuous service of any Board member). He was the Board President in 2001–2002, but he served as Treasurer during most of his time on the Board. (Pete has explained that he never really wanted to be Treasurer, but that “everyone else on the Board didn’t want it even more than I didn’t want it.”) In March 2020, Pete was term-limited, but he continues to be involved as a member of the Finance Committee.
Pete’s wife, Gail, said that he has had a “love affair” with Dinosaur Ridge for many years, as he took Gail to the Ridge on a date before they got married. Pete and Gail have two sons, Will and Richard. Pete led a tour of Dinosaur Ridge for Will’s Cub Scout group nearly 35 years ago, and Richard attended one of the first summer camps offered, so as you can see, it is a family affair!
June 2020 – Michelle Howell
Michelle has had a long interest in dinosaurs, paleontology, and teaching science to kids. For five years she worked with Field Station: Dinosaurs in New Jersey, helping to open their new park in Kansas. She also worked with Mad Science of Colorado and developed their dinosaur programming. Michelle initially expressed interest in volunteering at Dinosaur Ridge in 2018 and eagerly attended Erin LaCount’s “Everything Dinosaur” talks and became a member of Dinosaur Ridge’s track staining team (she is not afraid of heights!) in 2019. When COVID-19 hit this spring and she was temporarily laid off, Michelle found herself with extra time on her hands and stepped up to help. She continued track staining and can also been found several days a week enthusiastically greeting and orienting guests at our exhibit hall. She has logged close to 70 hours of volunteer service in May and June and we are so grateful!
July 2020 – Rob Williams
Rob Williams came to Dinosaur Ridge in February of 2020 seeing a volunteer opportunity where he could share his knowledge of earth science and interest in dinosaurs with Ridge visitors. Rob recently retired after 34 years of working with the USGS where his role included public speaking and media interviews regarding earthquake research. After attending some of our “Everything Dinosaur” talks and shadowing a few tours and exhibit hall docents, he was ready to help greet visitors on a regular basis in our Trek through Time exhibit hall. Rob says that he is looking forward to learning a lot more about the Ridge from co-workers – “no bones about it!” Since our reopening in May, Rob has been one of our most frequent Docent/Greeters. In May alone he volunteered for eleven 4-hour shifts! When he is not helping at Dinosaur Ridge, Rob enjoys riding his bike, hiking, and camping with his wife Sue Cannon (who has been volunteering many hours sewing dinosaur-print masks for the Ridge!).
August 2020 – Jamie Hall
Jamie Hall started with Dinosaur Ridge as a high school intern in the summer of 2017 through Brady High School’s BUILD internship program exploring a career of interest. After completing her internship, she decided to continue volunteering with us on Saturday mornings in the exhibit hall, where she has been a regular docent ever since. Jamie has also served as a Summer Camp Jr. Counselor and in her spare time enjoys going on fossil digs. Her knowledge of and enthusiasm for all things dinosaurs and fossils has made her ideally suited to greeting visitors in Trek through Time where she enjoys interacting with dinosaur-obsessed kids. We are thrilled (albeit a bit sad) that she will soon be leaving us to pursue an Associate’s Degree in Science at Northwestern Community College with a plan to study paleontology, but she promises to stay in touch and continue volunteering when she is on school breaks. Thanks Jamie and best of luck!
September 2020 – Sue Cannon
Sue Cannon has been volunteering with Dinosaur Ridge since May 2020. She is one of our lead dinosaur-fabric mask makers, sewing beautiful masks of all sizes for use by Dinosaur Ridge volunteers and for sale in our gift shop. Since May, she has logged over 120 hours at her sewing machine and has donated more than 360 masks. Sue has also assisted in standardizing our mask patterns and sizes to make it easier for other volunteers to help with this ongoing project. Her husband Rob Williams has been volunteering as a docent and guide, but Sue prefers to stay behind the scenes donating her talents from home. In her spare time, Sue likes to work in her yard, play the cello, and explore Colorado by bike and car.
October 2020 – Ken Carmody
Ken is a retired public school teacher who moved to Denver from the East Coast in October of 2019. A self-described “rock hound,” Ken is eager to share his enthusiasm for earth science with students and visitors alike! In his first year, he has logged over 250 hours of volunteer service to Dinosaur Ridge serving as a tour guide, helping with outreach events, and regularly greeting visitors at the exhibit hall, Trek Through Time (exhibit hall pictured). Ken likes to keep busy every day and when he’s not volunteering, enjoys art and painting, gardening, beekeeping, traveling, and collecting rocks and fossils!
November 2020 – Lorraine Alcott
Lorraine is a retired environmental geologist who loves helping kids and adults learn about geology and earth science! She started volunteering with Dinosaur Ridge in December of 2018 and has been helping in a variety of roles from leading in-person school tours to our more recent virtual programs, and she can also be found greeting visitors on Tuesday mornings at our exhibit hall. A natural teacher, her enthusiasm for and commitment to science is contagious. A few months ago, we were pleased that Lorraine accepted our invitation to join our Board of Directors where she also serves as Secretary and on the Development Committee. Lorraine loves volunteering because touring the museum and ridge allows people to see rocks and fossils up close. Most of the time kids and adults leave knowing that studying science and dinosaurs is really very fun and quite cool! Lorraine is a “rock star” at Dinosaur Ridge!
December 2020 – Sarah Zachrich
Sarah Zachrich is a geologist working in the oil industry who volunteers with Dinosaur Ridge as her schedule allows. In the past, she volunteered occasionally at Dinosaur Discovery Days but she officially started volunteering with us more regularly in 2019 and recently reached her 100th hour of service! We are thrilled to have Sarah share her geological knowledge and enthusiasm with visitors as a tour guide on walking tours and as a docent in our Trek through Time exhibit hall. A recent visitor commented: “Sarah, the host at the museum was so much fun to talk to. She was super knowledgeable about all of the exhibits and very friendly. The fossils and materials were very cool!” Thank you Sarah for giving visitors a great experience at Dinosaur Ridge!
Are you interested in volunteering at Dinosaur Ridge? Visit this link to learn more.
To see the volunteers recognized monthly in 2019, visit this link.